Scott Massey - Steve Stoyko [A04]

2nd Bergen Futurity/Westwood, NJ (4) 1985

1. f4

Recently, I saw Steve play a game on ICC with a similarly interesting use of 1...b6: 1. Nf3 b6 2. g3 Bb7 3. Bg2 g5!? 4. O-O?! g4 5. Ne5 Bxg2 6. Kxg2 h5


1... b6 2. Nf3 Bb7 3. g3 Bxf3!

This game is one of the best illustrations of what I've called, only half-jokingly, Stoyko's "sadistic" strategy of never giving his opponent what he wants. Charles Adelman's contemporary commentary tells us how this worked in the present opening situation: "Massey has recently shown a fondness for a Closed Sicilian set-up. He wants to play 4 Bg2, 5 0-0, 6 d3 and 7 e4 but Stoyko crosses him up by snapping off the knight, thus disturbing White's pawn structure. Although the objective merits of Stoyko's move can be questioned, the move is nevertheless very strong psychlogically...."


4. exf3 e6 5. d4

"This move is dubious since it further restricts the range of White's dark-squared bishop, but White was hoping to be able to swap this bishop off."


5... d5 6. b3 Ne7 7. Bd3 g6!

"Now white is crossed up even further. It may appear that black is dangerously weakening his dark-squares, but the truth is that since white's dark-squared bishop is firmly locked out, he will be unable to exploit black's weakness. Meanwhile, the black bishop will make its presence known on the long diagonal. " And, most importantly, Stoyko has frustrated his opponent's plan of exchanging dark-squared Bishops which has both practical and psychological effects.


8. g4!?

Trying to restrict Black's Knight. If 8. Ba3 Bg7 9. Bxe7?! Qxe7 10. c3 O-O followed by ...c5 with an edge for Black.


8... Bg7 9. c3 c5 10. Be3 Nbc6 11. Bf1

If White tries to snatch a pawn with 11. dxc5 Black can play 11... d4! when White has difficulties: 12. Bd2!

(12. cxd4? Bxd4! (Adelman gives 12... Nxd4!? "and the threat of 13...Nxf3(+) wins material" but White has 13. Be4 Rc8 14. O-O holding the material balance) 13. Bxd4 Qxd4 14. Na3 Qb4+-+)


(12. Bxd4? Nxd4 (12... Bxd4! 13. cxd4 Qxd4 is even better, transposing to line "a" above) 13. cxd4 Bxd4 "winning an exchange")

12... Nd5!

(Adelman gives 12... dxc3 13. Bxc3 Bxc3+ 14. Nxc3 Qd4 "with some pressure," which is also good.)


13. c4 Qh4+ 14. Ke2 Nc3+ 15. Nxc3 dxc3 16. Be1 Qh3 with a strong attack.


11... cxd4 12. cxd4 h5! 13. Nc3 hxg4 14. fxg4 Bf6 15. Qd2 a6

After 15... Bh4+ 16. Kd1 White will castle by hand while Black wastes time rescuing his wayward Bishop.


16. O-O-O b5 17. Bg2 Rc8 18. Kb2 Qb6 19. Ne2 Na5

An alternative idea is 19... b4!? 20. Rc1 a5 21. f5 gxf5 22. g5 Bg7 23. h4 a4! and White's castle is quickly blown open.


20. f5!

"Black is building up his queenside forces in impressive fashion so white must start some action on the kingside for some counterplay. The move opens some lines and creates a passed pawn along the h-file."


20... gxf5 21. g5 Bg7 22. h4 f6 23. h5

23. Nf4!?


23... fxg5 24. Bxg5 Rf8!

"An extremely strong move that clears h8 for the bishop thus blockading the h-pawn and keeping the pressure along the long diagonal."


25. h6 Bh8 26. Nf4

(? Adelman) Adelman writes: "In time pressure, white makes a move that wastes two tempi. 26. Rh4 immediately was better." Fritz and several computer programs prefer Massey's move.


26... Rc4

"This attacks the pawn for the third time and white must drop his knight back to defend it. Obviously, the rook cannot be taken due to the knight fork at c4."


27. Ne2?!

This is a very complex situation, since both Kings are potentially exposed and pieces are hanging. White has two alternatives suggested by computer analysis which may force a draw:

a) 27. Qe2!? Rxd4 28. Kb1 Nc4! (28... Rg8? 29. Bxe7) 29. Bxe7! Rxf4 (29... Kxe7 30. Rxd4 Qxd4 31. Qxe6+ Kd8 32. Qxd5+ Qxd5 33. Bxd5 Na3+ 34. Kc1+/-) 30. Bc5! (30. Bxf8 Rf2-+) 30... Qxc5 31. Qxe6+ Qe7 32. Qc6+ (32. Qc8+? Kf7 33. Bxd5+ Kf6-/+) 32... Qd7 33. Rhe1+ Re4 34. Qg6+ Qf7 35. Qc6+ Qd7 36. Qg6+=

b) 27. Nxe6! Qxe6 28. Rde1 Rxd4! 29. Rxe6 Rxd2+ 30. Kc1 Rxg2 31. Rxe7+ Kd8 32. Rf7+ Ke8 33. Re7+ Kd8 34. Rf7+=


27... Nec6!!

"It appears that black has trapped his own rook but Stoyko has seen further."


28. Kb1 Rb4 29. Rh4?

Fritz suggests that White must counter-attack: 29. Qe3! Kd7 (29... Nxd4 30. Bxd5!) 30. Nf4 Re8 31. Rhe1 Rxd4 32. Nxd5 Rxd1+ 33. Rxd1 Qxe3 34. Nxe3+ and the situation is still unclear.


29... Nxb3!

"A very difficult move to face right before the time control. Now black's queenside pawns and the placement of his remaining pieces offer him a very strong attack."


30. axb3 Rxb3+ 31. Kc2

Black also has a strong attack after 31. Ka2 Rb4 (even stronger seems 31... Rd3! 32. Qe1 Rxd1 33. Qxd1 Qa5+ 34. Kb2 Rg8->) 32. Rh3 Ra4+ 33. Ra3 (else 33...Nxd4 is strong) 33... Nb4+ 34. Kb2! (not Adelman's 34. Kb3? Rxa3+ 35. Kxa3 Qa5+ 36. Kb2 Qa2+ 37. Kc1 Qa1#) 34... Kd7! (34... Rxa3? 35. Qxb4!+-) 35. Rxa4 bxa4 36. Rb1 Rc8!->


31... Na5! 32. Rh3

#There now follows "A simple shot that white had overlooked. Although white ends up with a rook, bishop and knight for the queen, black's remaining pieces coupled with the strong placement of his queen, his connected passed pawns and the exposed nature of the white king gives black a won game." More complicated, but apparently no less winning for Black, was 32. Rb1 Qc6+! 33. Nc3 Qc4 34. Bf1 (34. Qe3 Kd7!) 34... Qb4 35. Nxd5 (35. Na2 Qa4 36. Nc3 Qa3 37. Qe1 Kd7 ) (35. Rxb3 Qxb3+ 36. Kc1 Kf7 ) 35... Qa3 36. Rxb3 Qxb3+ 37. Kc1 Qf3!


32... Rb2+ 33. Kxb2 Nc4+ 34. Kc2 Nxd2 35. Rxd2 Rg8

"A strong move that ties up Massey's pieces for a few moves and gives Stoyko some time to push his queenside pawns."


36. Rg3 b4 37. Bf3 a5 38. Bh5+ Kd7 39. Kb2 a4 40. Bf7 Rc8 41. Re3 Rc6 42. h7 b3 43. Rh3 Qb4 44. Bf4 a3+ 45. Kb1 a2+ 46. Kb2 Qxd2+

"A neat combination which lands black into an easily won endgame." Fritz spots a mate beginning 46... Bxd4+! 47. Nxd4 a1=Q+ 48. Kxa1 Qa3+ 49. Kb1 Rc1#


47. Bxd2 Rc2+ 48. Kxb3

The try 48. Ka1 Rxd2 is no better for white.


48... Rxd2 49. Rh1 Rxe2 50. Ra1 Ke7 51. Bh5

If white plays 51. Bg8 the bishop will never leave its prison at g8.


51... Rh2 52. Bd1 Rxh7 53. Rxa2 Rh3+

White resigned Actually this little finesse is not needed since after 53... Bxd4 the bishop defends the a7 square. A wild game by our Kenilworth Chess Club champs!


[Charles Adelman and Michael Goeller]

Steve Stoyko - Todd Lunna [D13]

2nd Bergen Futurity/Westwood, NJ (7) 1985

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. cxd5 cxd5

The exchange line of the Slav takes away all of Black's dreams of grabbing the c-pawn and holding it with ...b5. Meanwhile, White develops naturally and Black must accept relative passivity since an early development of his Bishop would weaken his b-pawn.


5. Nc3 e6 6. Bf4 Bd6 7. Bxd6 Qxd6 8. e3 O-O 9. Bd3 Nc6 10. O-O Bd7 11. a3 Rac8 12. Rc1 e5!?

This bid for counterplay leaves Black with the structural weakness of an isolated pawn.


13. Nb5 Qb8 14. dxe5 Nxe5 15. Rxc8 Rxc8 16. Nxe5 Bxb5!?

16... Qxe5 17. Nd4 also gives White some play against the isolated queen pawn.


17. Nf3! Bxd3 18. Qxd3 Qc7 19. Nd4 Qc4?! 20. Qf5! Ne4 21. b3 Qc5 22. b4 Qc4 23. h4 Nd6 24. Qe5 Rd8 25. Qe7 Qc8 26. Rd1 g6?!

Too weakening of the dark squares around Black's king.


27. h5! Rd7 28. Qh4 a6 29. g3!?

White is considering a favorite Stoyko tactic of Kg2 and Rh1 followed by hxg6.


29... Qd8 30. Qf4 Nc4 31. h6!

This idea is well-known from the King's Indian Attack, where a pawn on h6 in a heavy-piece ending guarantees White long-term attacking prospects.


31... Qe7 32. Nf3 f5 33. Ng5?!

Better 33. Rc1 or 33. g4


33... b5

The pawn-grab 33... Nxa3! 34. Rc1 (34. g4!?) 34... Nc4 35. Rxc4 dxc4 36. Qxc4+ Kf8 37. Ne6+ (37. Qc8+ Qe8 38. Qc5+=) 37... Kg8 likely was not attractive to Black on its face, but computer analysis suggests that White has nothing better than a perpetual.


34. g4! Ne5 35. Rc1 Rd8 36. Nf3 Nxg4 37. Rc7!

A winning infiltration.


37... Rd7 38. Rxd7 Qxd7 39. Qb8+ Kf7 40. Qh8 Ke6 41. Ng5+ Kd6 42. Nxh7 Nxh6

Otherwise the h-pawn is just too dangerous, but now White forces the win of a piece. White also wins after 42... Qe7 43. Qg7 Qh4 44. Qxg6+ Kc7 45. Qxf5 Qxh6 46. Ng5+-


43. Qf8+

43. Nf8! Nf7? 44. Qf6++-


43... Kc7 44. Qxh6 Qc6 45. Qg7+ Kb8 46. Qe5+ Ka7 47. Nf6 Qc1+ 48. Kg2 Qxa3? 49. Qc7+

White forces mate. 49. Nd7! is one move faster.


[Michael Goeller]

Steve Stoyko - Ansel Schiffer [E75]

2nd Bergen Futurity/Westwood, NJ (8) 1985

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 d6 4. Nc3 g6 5. e4 Bg7 6. Be2 O-O 7. Bg5 a6 8. a4

Never give your opponent a break if you can help it...


8... Nbd7 9. Qd2 Re8 10. Nf3 Qc7 11. O-O e6

"This order of moves is rarely played nowadays; usually black plays ...e6 on move three. The key difference is that when black plays ...ed white must recapture with the c-pawn leading to a double-edged game where black has some possibilities with his 3-2 queenside majority and pressure along the half-open e-file. However, now when black plays ...ed white can recapture with his e-pawn leaving white with a good game and no counterplay for black since he has no 3-2 queenside majority nor does he have any pressure along the e-file."


12. h3 exd5 13. exd5 Ne5

"One can und erstand black's desire to swap pieces, but his move undermines his other knight and makes it easier for white to shove the f-pawn to uncomfortable proportions."


14. Nxe5 Rxe5 15. Bd3 Bd7 16. f4 Ree8 17. f5 gxf5 18. Bh6 Bxh6

Forced since white threatened 19 Qg5. If black plays 18... Kh8 white wins a piece with 19. Bxg7+ Kxg7 20. Qg5+


19. Qxh6 Qd8 20. Bxf5 Re5 21. Ne4!?

"Everyone expected Stoyko to play 21. Bxd7 Nxd7 22. Qxd6 and black's game collapses, but Stoyko prefers to play for a brilliancy. However, a few days later a fairly low-rated player asked Stoyko what black can do if white just drops his bishop back to c2. The answer? Just resign!! All the masters in the Futurity had missed this move!" 21. Bc2!!-+


21... Rxe4 22. Bxe4 Nxe4

"What's this? Has black blundered two pieces for a rook? The answer is quite convincing."


23. Rxf7!! Kxf7 24. Qxh7+ Kf6

24... Kf8 appears to hold, but loses to 25. Rf1+ Nf6 26. Qg6


25. Rf1+ Ke5 26. Qg7+ Nf6 27. Qg3+

"Black resigned The most pleasing mate is 27...Kd4 28.Rf4+ Ne4 29. Qc3#. This is called a model mate since none of black's flight squares are attacked by more than one white piece - an economical mate indeed!"


[Charles Adelman]

Steve Stoyko - David Koval [A57]

2nd Bergen Futurity/Westwood, NJ (10) 1985

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 b5

The Benko Counter Gambit


4. cxb5 a6 5. Nc3!?

A more common way to decline the gambit today is 5. b6!? White could accept the gambit by 5. bxa6 Bxa6 but, to quote Stoyko, "why give him what he wants?"


5... axb5 6. e4

6. Nxb5 Qa5+ 7. Nc3 Ba6 is basically the same as accepting the gambit.


6... b4 7. Nb5 d6

a) 7... Nxe4?! 8. Qe2 Nf6?? 9. Nd6#

b) 7... e6?! 8. d6 Na6 9. e5 does not look pleasant for Black.


8. Nf3 Bg4

8... Nxe4!? wins a pawn, though White has compensation due to his excellent development: 9. Bc4 Nf6 10. Qe2 Bb7 11. Bf4 with tactical pressure for White. Notice how White's system turns the tables on the Benko gambiteer, presenting him with a pawn and a passive position, which is the last thing he'd want and which may account for his early collapse.


9. h3 Bxf3 10. Qxf3

White's two Bishops and strong control of the center give him a clear edge.


10... g6?

This natural "Benko" move meets an immediate refutation.


11. e5! dxe5

11... Nfd7 12. exd6 exd6 13. Qe2+ Be7 14. Nxd6+


12. d6! e4 13. Nc7+ Qxc7?

Necessary was 13... Kd7 14. Qb3! though White is still winning.


14. dxc7! exf3? 15. c8=Q#


[Michael Goeller]

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Complete games from the 2nd Bergen Futurity